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to expect to be able to get any sleep in a terraced house especially when my neighbour has 4 children

(21 Posts)
sosadandtired Tue 23-Dec-08 11:36:03

DH and I scrimped and scraped for years to be able to afford our first home together, a modest 2 up 2 down. Previously we've been renting but now that I have dd really wanted to try and get our foot on the ladder. After 3 years of saving, going without holidays, new clothes etc we finally got a deposit together to buy our little house. The day we moved in was a very happy one, and I dreamt of my little family living and growing in the house for many years to come (cant have any more children so needing more bedrooms will never be an option).

However, the dream has turned into a bit of a nightmare and friends and family are telling me its my own fault. The problem lies with the thiness of our walls. We can literally hear everything. One lot of neighbours have 4 children who make a lot of noise. I dont mind so much during the day but its at night it causes problems. DH and I both work long hours so we can pay our mortgage and because of the noise from our neighbours we never get a good nights sleep,making it difficult to do our jobs properly. Last time we slept well was when we stayed at a friends 2 months ago. Next doors children age from about 10 to 16 and they are up all hours, dont go to bed til 12 and then wake us up around 5. DD is still quite small so not yet having an impact on her but I worry it will soon. The parents of the children dont work so even on a rare day off the noise is constant, loud blaring TV, music, shouting etc. They never go out at weekends and never take a holiday so we never get a break. I do expect some noise, it is a terraced house after all, but its the ongoing constant noise at night that I cant bear. The family are very friendly and I have asked if they can try and keep it down after 11 but the noise just continues. Friends tell me I should expect this because its a terraced house, but when I moved in I had no idea that a family of 6 would be living in a 2 bedroom house. Its so depressing never getting a decent nights sleep. Neighbours tell me that my house has been bought and sold about 5 times in the past 10 years because people cant cope living next door to this family. AIBU in expecting to get some form of sleep in my house even though its a terrace?

Joolyjoolyjoo Tue 23-Dec-08 11:41:29

YANBU, but sometimes it is down to the thin-ness of the walls. We lived in a semi, and had all sorts of problems with our neighbours, one of them being noise, and eventually we had to move- not a great option for you at the moment.

Is there anything relatively inexpensive you could do to soundproof your walls on that side? It IS annoying living with someone else's noise! maybe your noisy neighbours will move first! Ours must have hated us as much as we hated them, because the week before we put our house up for sale, they put theirs up!

TheProvincialLady Tue 23-Dec-08 11:41:54

Our house is very similar and we were shocked by the thinnness of the walls too. But with a rubish sleeping 2 year old and now a newborn there is not much we can do - we are noisy neighbours at night. We scrimped to buy our house - most people do - and I don't suppose your neighbours chose to have so many living in such a small house.

You can do a lot with basic soundproofing. Have you tried carpets/thick curtains, felt under the floorboards, thick headboards?

Lauriefairyonthetreeeatscake Tue 23-Dec-08 11:44:56

I sympathise but they are not doing anything abnormal that a family would do. Do everything provinciallady suggested and also get a white noise radio/noise cancelling appliance for sleeping.

Luckily your dd has grown up with the noise and will likely always sleep well.

nickytinseltimes Tue 23-Dec-08 11:45:50

It really sucks that a lot of people can't afford a decently sound proofed house when they have worked so hard.
There is nothing worse than other peoples' noise.
It is not your own fault at all. You r friends and family should be supporting you the=rought= = this.
We are currently selling for similar reasosn even though we will probably make a loss becasue I can't stand it anymore either.

TheProvincialLady Tue 23-Dec-08 11:54:57

Have a look at this sort of thing

Leo9 Tue 23-Dec-08 11:57:25

I totally, totally sympathise. We have exactly the same sort of house and I do live in fear of our neighbours moving, because we are lucky enough to live next door to quiet people; but when next door's DD has a tantrum, we can hear every word; and when the other side had a very rare party, again we could hear everything, there was no escape from the noise. If that was every day it would be totally stressful.

Being able to relax in your own home is key to a happy life!

TBH this is not going to change. If this was me I would start planning and saving for a move. I know now is not a good time but at least planning it will give you a focus.

It may be a good thing in the long run; it may force you up the ladder a bit more!

Poppycake Tue 23-Dec-08 12:02:26

Provincial Lady's website looks good if it works and is not too expensive. I had the same problem living in an ex-council flat when I was studying for my degree next to a horrible little git man who listened to techno music all the time. It's like torture.

There are also the Bio ears earplugs which I find pretty good for cutting out noise if I need to sleep at peculiar times. They're a bit weird and gummy (and my hair gets stuck to it!) but do work pretty well.

CaptainKarvol Tue 23-Dec-08 12:10:27

you have all my sympathy too (have been in similar situation in a thin walled terrace, though with an inconsiderarte arse next door rather than a big family).

I think the only thing you can do long term is plan to move. I really do. Sorry.

I mean, you could look into soundproofing, but it's expensive to do well. You can do your best with carpets, rugs, bookshelves against the connecting walls, but I never found it made enough of a difference to really help. You could use white noise / earplugs at night, but tbh it was never being able to relax with a book / conversation / companionable glass of wine and soft music that did for me, not the night times. So stress, rather than sleeplesness.

The only attitude readjustment that helped my stress levels at all was my brothers lovely girlfriend, who listened to me stressing and looked a bit bemused, before saying 'oh, I hate it when it is silent. It makes me feel safe to know there are people just the other side of the wall'. And she really, really meant it. Oddly, it helped just enough to get me through until moving. Kind of a 'never attribute to malice what you can attribute to stupidity' attitude - I think I was mostly stressed because I saw my neighbours as so vile, aggressive and selfish, whereas they were just thoughtless immature feckers.

Anyway I'm over it now <twitch> and so will you be one day.

sosadandtired Tue 23-Dec-08 12:24:01

thanks for the link provincial lady. We have investigated soundproofing but apparently because of the design/layout of house it would be quite tricky and expensive to insulate. One of the company's we had round had been to my house before (the previous owner must have been investigate too). It's just so bloody depressing. It's got to the point where I don't even want to go home at night and weekends are spent trying to spend as much time out of the house as possible. I hate how I'll be trying to read a book with dd but she can't hear a thing over the noise of the neighbours who choose that moment to turn the tv up full blare. Lying in bed every night listening to my neighbours having sex, hearing every little moan and groan makes me feel sick. It does nothing for my own lovelife either.... It's got to the point where dH and I are arguing because he blames me for choosing this house and I'm having to physically restrain him from going round to my neighbours. He keeps screaming through the wall that they should get a job rather than spending all day and night in front of the tv which can't help relations with them in the long term... I just wish they'd pop out the house occasionally so I could have a break from it, even for an hour or two but there is always someone in.

Sorry for rambling, just so very very tired today. Thanks for sympathy, it helps to know that some people think I haven't brought this onmyself.

Astarte Tue 23-Dec-08 12:30:16

You have my sympathy, but did it not occur to you to check how many times the house had been bought and sold before you bought it?

We have recently pulled out of an offer we made after checking this online and the one one we were after had changed hands 4 times in 8 years! There has to be reasons for that.

Is it not possible for you to move? Or maybe ask the council to come around and check the noise levels. With four kids they're going to make plenty of noise but none of it should be between 11pm-7am.

Have you spoken to the family about the lack of sleep, maybe they aren't fully aware and will try to keep things at a minimum. Most people are reasonable when approached.

Leo9 Tue 23-Dec-08 12:31:25

It's just stress making your DH blame you - very childish of him, but it comes from stress. Of course it's not your fault! And it's perfectly reasonable to resent them being in all the time making noise; it makes you feel like your life plays second fiddle to them.

Have your house valued. I could be wrong but I believe that houses like ours at the bottom of the ladder haven't lost quite so much value so you might be surprised.

I would look at all options; renting out your house and renting yourselves might sound extreme but it's possibly do-able if the rent would cover your mortgage.

I just think you have to get out - there's not way you will change your neighbours.

Though if they are literally blaring the TV out in the early hours that might be nuisance noise? Have you approached your local council Environmental Health team for advice?

NotanOtter Tue 23-Dec-08 12:36:15

i do sympathise with you but want to start by saying we have 6 children from 5 months to 16 and are very quiet - our neighbours always compliment us on it and the neighbours we had issues with ad only 1 child

personally i would look into sound proofing as it would start to stress me even when it was not noisy....

maybe if you felt there was a solution you might not need it iykwim

is one side the noisiest?

Dropdeadfred Tue 23-Dec-08 12:36:16

would you consider inviting one of the parents round so they can hear how loud they/their music/tv are through your walls?

osborne Tue 23-Dec-08 12:42:50

We had this, i could hear the baby's mobile through the wall. WE had fitted cupboards all along the party wall and then had cavity wall insulation between. it has made a big difference but wasn't cheap.

poor you,its a nightmare.

MrsFreud Tue 23-Dec-08 12:44:44

Poor you.
Do you have any kind of relationship with your neigbours? are they compketely unaware , or just selfish - you should find out first.

AndHeaVanAnnNatureSing Tue 23-Dec-08 12:55:44

Your neighbours sound completely selfish. Yes, a family of 6 is going to generate some noise BUT they could have the consideration to keep things down at night, and why is it necessary to have the telly on full blast?? angry

YANBU - they don't work so can sleep when they like, and don't care that you are suffering. feel for you.

Suedonim Tue 23-Dec-08 13:26:32

If you haven't tried them already, I really recommend earplugs. Where we were living we had to put up with 24hrs construction noise, rebars being chucked about, cement lorries churning away, hammering, drilling and shouting.shock I didn't think earplugs would make much difference but they were amazing! That, combined with an eye mask to combat the floodlighting, meant I got some half-decent sleep.

needmorecoffee Tue 23-Dec-08 13:30:40

sympathies here. We have had to move to get away from noisy neighours. I became ill from it.
We're in a terrace again but I use a fan at night to provide white noise to block out most noise. Works well.
But they really should keep it down after 10 or so.

snope Tue 23-Dec-08 14:58:34

have not read the other threads but why dont you-put on loud music timed for say and go and stay with friends we have a little clock radio which you can set, maybe they will get the idea.

FuriousGeorge Tue 23-Dec-08 15:07:18

We moved from a terrace with double thick walls,where we rarely heard a sound,to a semi apparently made of cardboard.When we first moved,I just couldn't believe how thin the walls were.

Luckily,our neighbours are lovely & very quiet,but he is slightly deaf,so we can often hear their TV.His wife apologised only yesterday,for him having it on so loud and says she tells hm to turn it down & that he sneezes too loudly!

It really used to stress me out & bother me,because I felt like we were sharing a house with them,plus I'd be bothered about the dd's making noise & disturbing them too.

However,when FIL was ill,dh was away a lot overnight & we live in a fairly remote area.Hearing the neighbours moving about,shutting doors ect,was very reassuring,as I knew that they were only on the other side of the wall if I needed them.So,strangely enough,it hardly bothers me at all now.But if we ever move again,I'd be very careful about the construction of the house,as 1960's onwards are almost imppossible to soundproof.

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